Learn to Freelance with Elance to Build a Successful Home Business

If you are looking for a way to make money from your home, one of the best options available is to freelance with Elance. There are freelance job

What is Elance?

Elance is an online meeting place for businesses who need work done, and people who want to work.

A business will post a job that they need a worker for, and then the registered users of Elance can submit bids for that job.

You bid will indicate how much you would charge to complete the task that was posted.

The business who posted the job will review all of the bids and select the person they want to hire. Their decision will be based upon a combination of factors including your profile, your feedback ratings and the amount of your bid.

Some businesses are interested in hiring the cheapest bid. These jobs are perfect for people who are new to Elance and need to build their reputation. Other businesses are looking for the best quality of work. Those businesses will pay more attention to your Elance work history than your cost.

Getting Started With Elance

To begin your career of freelancing with Elance.com, start by registering with the site. The link is in the top right-hand corner of the site.

Once registered, click on the “Find Work” tab, at the top of the page, and then go to the “Become a Provider” button on the right-hand side. In the resulting page, you will be offered two different plans to choose between.

Free Membership

The first option is the basic free membership. As with any free plan, there are limitations with the free plan, but it is still a great way to get signed up and get familiar with the system without having to pay anything.

Advanced Membership

You may soon find it beneficial to upgrade to the advanced membership level, which will cost you $9.95 a month.

The benefits with the advanced membership include:

  • You can apply for up to 20 jobs per month
  • You can take two skills tests to boost your credibility
  • You will appear higher in the search results

Your Elance Profile

Now that you have opened an account and become a provider, you will need to develop your profile. It is essential for you to put a lot of effort and attention into this if you want to get the most out of Elance.

Your Elance profile is similar to a resume. This is what the businesses will be looking at when they’re deciding whether or not to accept your bid.

Here are tips for creating an effective Elance profile.


Create an impressive and eye catching Summary, detailing your skills, work ethics, and most importantly, what makes you stand out from the competition.


Be sure to double check your spelling and grammar.

About Us

In the About Us section, you have the opportunity to describe your work experience, and anything else that you feel is important to show. Don’t be afraid to brag, and again, double check spelling and grammar.


You have the option of displaying an Image with your profile. As this is the first thing that most people will see, you want this to be eye-catching, in order to create a great first impression. If you don’t have an image, it will be more difficult for businesses to remember you.

You can also use an image of your logo, if you have one, or even put in a video that automatically begins showing your demo reel.


Fill your Portfolio with all the best examples of your work. The more work you have in there the better, depending on the type of job you are planning to go after. If you have different types of work, ie logos, web sites and graphic design, separate it all into different folders.

If you don’t have much of a portfolio to show, you will have to start with lower paying jobs so you can build it up.


References and Credentials can be listed on your profile, and this can be a way for people to see that you are a legitimate and well qualified Elance provider.

Applying for Freelance Jobs on Elance

It is now time to begin the job searching process and hopefully start to earn freelance money on Elance. Click the “Find Work” tab and begin the search.

Depending on the plan you choose, you will be limited in the number of bids you can place. This is done to prevent people from applying for every job out there and keeps the bidding system more fair.

Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your bids.

  • If you are new to Elance, focus on lower paying jobs
  • Only bid for jobs that your profile or history show you can do
  • Don’t bid for jobs that already have a lot of bids (unless you can stand out)
  • Try to be the first bidder – it will get you noticed
  • If you bid early, check the average bid later and make adjustments if needed
  • Customize your bid to the specific job
  • Prove that you read the description by giving them you plan of attack
  • Apply for multiple jobs at a time to increase your chances


Additional Tip

Find something in the proposal that wasn’t clear or wasn’t covered and ask for clarification. This will prove that you read the proposal and genuinely thought about how you would complete the job. This is a great way to make you stand out.

Getting Work as a New Elance Freelancer

It can sometimes be difficult to get hired as a newcomer. The most important thing you need to do is start building a work history to prove you are responsible and can do good work.

The best way to do this is to find jobs that you can do cheaply. Although you will be paid below market value for your work, you will begin to build a work history which means other businesses can have more confidence in hiring you.

Over time, you can gradually begin bidding for higher paying jobs or increasing your bid amounts because you now have a track record with Elance.


Once you have been awarded an Elance job, you will be expected to complete it within the designated time frame.

It is extremely important that you make every effort to make the client happy.

This is especially important if you have just begun to freelance with Elance.

After the client has paid you, they will be able to leave you feedback.

The feedback is important for you in that, future possible clients will use it to help determine whether or not they want to hire you.

Feedback is determined by a number of factors, all of which should be taken into account when working on a job. These factors are: Quality of work, Responsiveness, Professionalism, Subject Matter Expertise, Adherence to Cost and Adherence to Schedule.

The client will give you ratings from one to five on each of these factors, after which a feedback percentage will be calculated.


Starting to freelance on Elance can require some perseverance in the beginning. Don’t become disheartened and quit when you don’t get the job after just a few postings.

Keep looking for jobs that you can do well and keep posting for them. Over time, you may need to lower your bids, but eventually you will get a job.

Once you do, make sure you do great work, because getting positive feedback from your first client will make it easier to get your second, and subsequent, jobs.


What Do You Think?

Have you ever thought about starting to freelance on Elance, or any other freelancing site? Do you have any experience to share?

available for all skill levels, you just need to learn how to get started.

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